I feel like I have a lot to say, but I don't really want to voice any of it. Instead, I'll just dump my brain out and we'll see how it goes.
The funeral was nice, insofar as funerals go. I think everyone honored Cathy with their words and their expressions of love and admiration for her. Several friends showed up, unannounced, just to pay their respects and be present. Most of my family was here, too. I managed to mostly keep it together. The church was kind enough to post the video on their Facebook page for the many people who could not attend. If you want to see it, it's still up.
For my birthday this year, my middle name was Duncan, because I Yo-Yo'ed up and down all day. Low points included missing my wife, and figuring out that my car wouldn't work and making plans to have it towed on Monday. Because, you know, insult to injury, and all of that nonsense.
Thanks to everyone who wished me happy birthday, and also to
everyone who didn't, because there wasn't anything particularly happy about the
day. You were quite right.
But I tried. I really did. And I'm going to keep on trying, because otherwise, what's the use? Don't answer that, it's rhetorical.
After the last two weeks, preceded by the last four months, my chest is starting to unclench and my breathing is back to normal. Somewhat. I keep getting into crying jags. I am still pacing the house. I'm still anxious, and scared. And sad. Just so heartbroken. I feel her absence, humming in the air like a high note that vibrates my sternum.
I'm going to look into grief counseling. After I fix the car. And pay the outstanding bills. And sign back up for health insurance (we were dropped.) And a half-dozen other things that suddenly need my attention. Somewhere in all of this, I need to have a real serious Come-to-Jesus meeting with myself about what happens next.
I have been incredibly lucky to have known from the age of 15 what I wanted to do with myself. And then I went and did it. Not a lot of people have that kind of clarity of vision, and I know it's a gift. But for the last twenty years, my goals have been intertwined with Cathy's goals. Oh, we had our side projects, too, but overall, we were always working on advancing our own desires and dreams as we helped the other person do the same.
Now I'm alone. And I have no idea what I want to do. For the first time since the age of fifteen, I have no direction, no heading, and no hand on the rudder. I hate the way this feels. I'll be taking some time off for a bit, so that I might figure out what the next phase of my life is going to be with the label "widower" attached to me like a barnacle I can't scrape off.
I'm tired. I'm tired of crying. I'm tired of getting hit with sudden waves of sadness, whack, in the face, like a creme pie made from depression and despair.
I can't get her deathbed out of my head. I close my eyes and I see it. I see her, arranged, eyes closed, and I can smell her skin and feel her hair on my cheek when I cradled her in my arms and sobbed. I have twenty years of great memories, good times, happy occasions, and all I can think about is her final minutes.
I'm not ready to accept this new state of being. It's still too raw. Too maddening. I was afraid of this happening. Alone in this house, pacing around like a caged animal, alternating between repeating lists of things I have to do, over and over, and crying out for my wife in an empty room , because I don't think I can do it all by myself.
Maybe I'm just wallowing. I don't want to let go of the pain, because I don't want to let go of her. I'm just so angry at everything right now. Things are going to move on with or without me, and I know that. This will likely fade into a dull ache. I'll have an epiphany or two and reorganize (and maybe even reinvent) myself and as time marches on, so shall I, older, wiser, ready for what comes next.
Right now, I think I want to just wallow. And I don't want you to see me like this.